87 Democritus on the nature and perception of `black' and `white'1 RICHARD W. BALDES In spite of the amount of information about Democritus' teaching on perception and colors in Theophrastus' De Sensibus, there still is much vagueness about this teaching. Many commentators provide nothing more than mere summaries or paraphrases of Theophrastus' account without an attempt to coordinate all the information available into a coherent system.2 2 Few also attempt to take into consideration the role of light and air in the process of vision and the sensations of color, although both seem to Theophrastus to be essential parts of Democritus' explanations. Besides, too little has been done with the information which can be gleaned from Theophrastus' criticisms of Democritus' teaching, from those very passages in which he takes issue with what seem to him important parts of Demo- critean atomism. Neglect of these passages, as well as a reluctance to coordinate all the information available, seems to result in vagueness in accounts of Democritus' teaching; and that fails to satisfy. What is proposed here is an account of Democritus' teaching on the perception of black and white, written under the conviction that his teaching here was basically
Phronesis – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1978
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